CANYON, Texas – The #1 Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M used a three run third inning homerun by Kaisha Dacosin and a strong performance in the circle by Rita Hokianga as they topped the rival Mustangs of Midwestern State, 6-2 on Friday night in the South Central Regional Championship taking place at Schaeffer Park in Canyon, Texas. The Lady Buffs move to 52-5 on the season while the Mustangs fall to 28-23.
The Lady Buffs wasted no time taking the lead in the bottom of the first inning as Tyler Wilkinson and Renee Erwin singled to left field with one out followed by a Jessica Sipe walk to lead the bases, Kaisha Dacosin scored the first two runs of the game on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop as Sipe collided with MSU’s Katy Vandewater at the bag which allowed Wilkinson and Erwin to score for the early 2-0 lead.
MSU responded in the top of the second inning as Vandewater launched a solo shot off of the screen protecting the scoreboard in straightaway center field, the Mustangs looked to tie the game with runners on the corners and two outs before Rita Hokianga forced a flyout to left field to end the inning with WT leading 2-1. MSU tied the game in the top of the third inning as they used the long ball to their advantage again, this time off the bat of Kelley Schaefer over the right center field wall to tie the game at 2-2.
The Lady Buffs responded with a long ball of their own in the home half of the third inning as Dacosin played the hero again with a three run blast to left center with two outs on a 1-2 Katlyn Holmes offering to give WT the 5-2 lead after three complete innings of play. The Mustangs threatened in the top of the fourth inning with a Baylee Voigt standup double to the right center field wall with one out but Hokianga registered her fifth strikeout of the game followed by a popup to Brittany Gehle in shallow right field to end the inning with WT leading 5-2.
The Lady Buffs added to their lead in the home half of the fourth inning as Wilkinson singled to left field with two outs to drive in Gehle from second base to stretch the WT lead to 6-2 after four complete innings of play. The Mustangs made things interesting in the top of the seventh inning with a leadoff single by Halie Howerton to knock Hokianga out of the game, Hannah Newcomb entered the circle and registered a strikeout before an MSU single that put runners on first and second with two outs before the sophomore right hander forced a groundout to Sipe at third who stepped on the bag at third and threw across the diamond to end the game with WT taking the 6-2 decision.
Hokianga picked up the win in the circle (23-2) for the Lady Buffs, giving up two runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts while Newcomb picked up her third save of the season, giving up one hit in 0.1 innings of work.
The Lady Buffs move into the winner’s side of the bracket and will face-off with Metro State on Saturday’s first game set for 1:30 p.m. in Canyon. The Roadrunners used a seven run inning to top Texas Woman’s, 9-4 earlier in the day at Schaeffer Park.
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